Our picturesque site is located in the Western Ghats perched on the backwaters of a lake and surrounded by the Sahyadri mountain ranges. Our clients asked us to build a 2100 sft single level pavilion to engage with the view and to act as a weekend retreat to escape the frenetic pace of Mumbai life.
We envisioned a single level house spatially subdivided onto two primary zones; one for engagement with the view during the day and the other as a quiet retreat at night. The living spaces are extroverted and permeable allowing nature to penetrate its envelope; the private spaces are introverted and protected.
One of the challenges of the house was to admit the right quality of natural light not only from the periphery but also into its internal volumes. To this end, we created a series of dramatic skylights to illuminate the internal spaces evenly. The angular shapes of the skylights were inspired by the looming profiles of the mountain peaks to the east and west of the house. Each of the skylights admits a soft quality of north light into the Living, kitchen, foyer, and bathrooms.
The house is built from the readily available local black basalt stone which was found on the site just 5 to 6 feet below ground. This stone of volcanic origin is available in abundance across the Deccan Plateau. We used the stone as a random dry pack cladding along the entire extent of the exterior walls and on a few internal accent walls.
The contoured land allowed us to work with the natural topography of the site. Rather than creating a split-level house to negotiate the slope, we created a retaining wall enclosure and a ramp alongside it to arrive at the entrance 3’-6” below.